Compiled by the Espresso Addict

Espresso Recommendations

Innovative and stylish fanfiction, showcasing the very best across multiple sf, fantasy & literature fandoms. Good writing in all its forms can be found here, including gen, het, slash, OCs, AUs, crossovers, future fics, humour & pastiche

Contents: 1010 recs in 235 fandoms; 65 links

Jane Austen

Emma | Mansfield Park | Northanger Abbey | Persuasion | Pride & Prejudice | Sense & Sensibility


Poignant Sting by Ione

'Emma found it difficult to smother a sigh as Miss Bates rattled the cups, lost the jam spoon and found it again in the beaufet, then trod upon her own hem, commenting and questioning and marveling the while on these and other tiresome minutiae.' Emma seems the most difficult Austen for a writer to penetrate, and some aspects of Ione's sequel weren't entirely successful for me. It's well worth a try, however, for its unexpected insight into Miss Bates, which has gone straight into my personal canon

[Added 07/08/2009; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Emma]

Mansfield Park

As the Starling Said by Minerva McTabby

'Mary soon developed the habit of speaking a sufficiency of words while telling nothing at all. Indeed, there was nothing to tell; she had not seen Henry since it all began, though not for any lack of wishing or striving on her part.' Well-written pastiche, with a particularly strong insight into the incurably optimistic Mary Crawford. For those unwilling to be convinced by Austen slash, there's also a shorter, slash-free version

[Added 06/08/2009; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

The Dancing Monkeys by Ione

'William's brows lifted, reminding Crawford that, despite his younger age, Lieutenant Price had seen far more of the world, and a rougher world, than had Henry Crawford. "He's old in sin. Old in sin." Then William said diffidently, "I don't quite understand what happened—that is, I am conscious of how much I owe you, sir, for your—yes, I can see you do not want to be reminded, but hang it all, what I'm trying to say is, if you wish, I can take you by one ten times better, and for half the cost."' By the magic of plot devicium, Henry winds up aboard the Laconia for his sins. Observing that 'Henry had always matched his tone to his company', Ione makes this unlikely crossover work beautifully, and the novelette is packed with delicious historical details as well as cameos from both sources. And the penultimate line really packs a punch

[Added 16/01/2019; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park; Crossover]

Everingham by Katharine T

'Thus Mr. Crawford won his way with a little art, which Fanny would have been ashamed to practice. His end was good, and his means had no real bad in them. He mostly spoke with sincerity, and if he exaggerated just a little, who could blame him?' Long satisfying AU in which, rather than meet Maria Rushworth at a dinner party, Crawford returns to Everingham and courts Fanny in earnest. The pastiche isn't quite as accomplished as some Austenfics I've recommended, but solid characterisations make up for any flaws. Perfect comfort reading if you like to be convinced that rakes are capable of reform

[Added 25/08/2013; Romance/Erotica; 20,000-50,000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

Love and Marriage by Solvent90

'Henry Crawford found that such of his wife's rusticities as he least adored – and, as the time passed, grew most to deplore – were the ones most resistant to all that town acquaintance and town entertainments could do.' A thoughtful look at how it might have turned out if the novel had ended differently, with characterisations that feel very true to the original. Highly recommended

[Added 17/07/2009; Drama; 2500-6000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

Marriage Vows by Silvestria

'Julia's first thought on Mr. Yates being announced was annoyance. She had only liked him as someone to whom she could freely complain about the cast of Lovers Vows.' A satisfying gapfiller that fleshes out the cipher that is Julia in canon & explores her choices

[Added 07/08/2014; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

Regrets and Reminiscences by afrai

I don't think I've ever seen Austen pastiche done better. Mansfield Park fanfiction is thin on the ground, and Afrai rewards the reader with interesting insights into Crawford through Edmund's eyes. I'm rather conflicted over the slash element, though

[Added 13/01/2005; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

Symmetry by Ankaret

'"Then why, pray, are you become a bore, my love? Is your digestion plaguing you, or have you become an Evangelical?"' Delicate conversation piece, which reviews the events of the novel through the Crawfords' eyes

[Added 25/11/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Jane Austen – Mansfield Park]

Northanger Abbey

When The Goods Get Together by Killer Quean

'Isabella, who had never understood the attractions of a Charles Grandison, read the sort of novels that were rather more instructive for her current situation, the sort that taught young ladies to bolt their doors, beware the counsel of monks, and always remember a way out of the castle.' Isabella is let down by Northanger Abbey, but gets to shine in this adventure of her own. The author develops an excellent voice for her, and there's an amusing bonus of a sneak crossover to watch out for, too. Great fun!

[Added 10/08/2012; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey; Crossover]


Sea Change by Lynndyre

'That night, the sea was utter calm. It spread about them like a dark and clouded glass, reflecting nothing.' Events seen through the lens of magical realism, with a perceptive narrator in Captain Harville. I wish this were longer!

[Added 29/10/2017; Drama; <1000; Jane Austen – Persuasion]

Pride & Prejudice

Lydia, still by Tree

'I do not wish to ever repeat that first night on my own when it was so horrid dark and cold. I thought I should die from it! Papa always said that Lizzy was the only clever one of us but I am certain that I am just as clever as she and maybe even more too.' It's hard to recommend this oddest of crossovers without spoiling it. Strangely moving (P&P/ST:TNG)

[Added 15/10/2015; Drama; 2500-6000; Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice; Crossover]

The Part of Her Hair by scioscribe

'"It is an unbearable temptation for you, this shaping of conversation into a series of aphorisms." / "It is true, sir, that the prudence necessary to resist scarcely runs in my family, and it is fortunate for us, else my sisters and I would not have been, had you not indulged."' A more mature, but still recognisable Mary embarks on her first romance. It's interesting to view the rest of the extended family through her eyes, with Mr Bennet & Lydia shining particularly brightly. I also enjoyed the way that each of Mary's sisters helps in her own way

[Added 13/12/2018; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice]

The Pine-Apple of Discord by A T Rain

'There are certain married couples who are in the habit of speaking without words, whose mutual sympathy is so deep that every glance carries a world of meaning. Mr. and Mrs. Collins were not, ordinarily, one of those couples.' An unusually sympathetic look at the Collins' marriage, with spot-on characterisations of both Charlotte & her husband

[Added 06/08/2015; Humour; 1000-2500; Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice]

Profanation of Our Joys by Malini

'I can say what I will of him without fear of contradiction, as a nobody in a sea of nobodies, and I am absurdly injured to be beneath contempt. Have I ever sought anything other than his contempt? His friendship got me nowhere.' Pride & Prejudice slash is hard to pull off, but Malini weaves Darcy/Wickham into canon so thoroughly that it underlies all Wickham's actions

[Added 25/08/2013; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice]

Sense & Sensibility

So Highly Do I Value and Esteem Him by abluestocking

'"He does not tire me," Elinor said, quietly. She was afraid it might rain; Willoughby and Marianne, who had met in a rainstorm, were inclined to think the rain romantic, and would run laughing for the house, but she thought of the dresses that would need drying, and prayed the rain would not come today.' Beautifully characterised & suitably restrained Elinor/Brandon AU, with a solid pastiche style. The pairing is one of the few contra-canonical ones in Austen to make sense to me, and this piece is my favourite example. (It's sufficiently restrained, I think, to be enjoyable even if this pairing is not quite to your taste)

[Added 16/01/2019; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Jane Austen – Sense & Sensibility]